Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
In the exclusive Philadelphia suburb of Rosewood, Alison is the Queen
Bee of her elite seventh grade hive. BFs Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily
vie for her attention, even as each of them hides a hideous secret only
Alison knows. So when Alison goes missing after a slumber party, never to
be seen again, each girl is heartbroken, but also a little relieved. Now it is
three years later, and though the four girls have grown apart, they are each
still hiding something. Artsy Aria is carrying on an affair with one of her
teachers, fashionista Hanna shoplifts to accessorize her trendy outfits,
blue-blood Spencer is sleeping with her older sister’s boyfriend, while
straight-A Emily is trying to ignore her attraction to a new female
classmate. When the girls begin receiving threatening text messages and
emails that from someone known only as A, they must confront the fact
that against all odds, it appears Alison is back. Could Alison still be alive?
And if so, why is she so determined to uncover all their dirty little secrets?
Debut author Sara Shepards shamelessly addictive blend of Desperate
Housewives and I Know What You Did Last Summer is absolutely
delicious. Her infusion of mystery and murder breathes new life into the
tired genre of high society chick lit, and will give fans of Gossip Girl and
The A-List something new to dig their French-manicured nails into. A cliff-
hanging ending will leave readers craving the second title in the planned
four-part series. --Jennifer Hubert
Personal Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
I admit that I love chick lit and a wickedly riveting series, such as the Pretty
Little Liars Series. These girls drop designer names the way insecure
people drop names at social gatherings.
Alison "Ali" DeLaurentis: a bright, popular girl who led a clique of other
rich, indulged girls. Alison has social clout, so being accepted by her is a
way to ensure a leg up the social ladder. The other girls are more
satellites to her sun; they are more subjects to Her Royal Majesty, Queen
Alison. The girls live in Rosewood, a suburb of Philadelphia on the Main
Line. They drop designer names at the drop of a designer hat. Ali, known
for insidious cruelty has plenty of secrets. So do the other girls, all of
whom have good reason to want Ali to do a permanent disappearing act.
Aria, an attractive, athletic brunette who was glad to escape Rosewood for
Iceland. She has a yak-fur bag to which she is inordinately attached. It is
her security blanket. Her father accepts a teaching position ther e and for 3
years, Aria and her younger brother by 2 years Mike, learn Icelandic and
absorb Icelandic culture. Unlike Mike, Aria wants to remain in Iceland.
She has a painful non-Ali related secret - she caught her father cheating
with another woman. Once back in town, she picks up an older man in a
bar and once school starts, discovers that her Ezra is her English teacher!
She knows how to play to get an A!
Spencer, the grind. She tends to sputter at the drop of a designer hat.
She earns As and other academic plaudits for real. She has long been
eclipsed by her favored older sister, Melissa and when she steals Melissa's
boyfriend for the second time, her cold-hearted family ostracizes her.
Melissa, a pompous Drama Queen has long reveled in her Favored
Daughter status and you just want to kick her in the shins.*
Hanna, the former fat girl now turned femme fatale is the weakest link in
the chain. Bulimic and insecure, she has now linked forces with another
social outcast. Together, they drop designer names and flaunt fashion like
it's going out of style. Hanna's relationship with her divorced mother is
more like business associates than family. Her father's fiancee Isabel has
a daughter Kate who is Hanna's age and Hanna feels that Kate has
replaced her. She does not have a good relationship with her father either
and engages in illegal activities.
Emily discovers that love comes in the most unexpected places. She
discovers her family's true colors of bigotry as she also learns some things
The girls band together after Ali sets the wheels in motion for the traumatic
incident with devastating repercussions they call "the Jenna Thing."
Shortly after the Jenna Thing, Ali disappears and the girls as well as the
townspeople are determined to find her.
Someone called A knows more about Ali and her satellites than they could
ever imagine. A texts and e-mails them, telling them where they've been
and what they've done. A also blackmails them. The question is, who is
A? One of the girls? Someone close to Jenna? A neighbor? An intrusive
This is a deliciously wicked and riveting read that will keep readers bound
to the last page.
The overplayed 1983 song "Every Breath You Take" by the Police could be
the soundtrack for this series.
*In the last chapter, Spencer smokes a Marlboro. When that smoking
scene is revisited in the next installment, the coffin nail in question is a
Parliament. Readers will catch these things.
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